In clinical practice, glaucoma is common in some purebred dogs but rare in other dogs. Information from the Veterinary Medical Data Base was used to follow the top 20 breeds for 38 years (over 9778 dogs) to determine whether the prevalence of glaucoma had changed. Changes in prevalence were calculated at 5- to 10-year intervals. The most commonly affected breeds during the entire 38-year period were American cocker spaniels, basset hounds, Boston terriers, miniature poodles, wire fox terriers, and Siberian huskies. During 1994 to 2002, the most commonly affected breeds were American cocker spaniels, basset hounds, chow chows, shar peis, Boston terriers, wire fox terriers, Norwegian elkhounds, Siberian huskies, cairn terriers, and miniature poodles. Females of the following breeds were more commonly affected: American cocker spaniels, basset hounds, cairn terriers, chow chows, English cocker spaniels, Samoyeds, and Siberian huskies. Australian cattle dog and St. Bernard males were more commonly affected. Age of onset in affected breeds was between 4 and 10 years.

COMMENTARY: This is an exhaustive study of the medical records of nearly 10,000 purebred dogs over various 5- to 10-year intervals. The prevalence of breed-related glaucoma is changing over time, most likely reflecting many factors, one of which is breed popularity. That some breeds are strongly affected by glaucoma suggests a genetic tendency, and selective breeding protocols are needed to remove affected individuals from the gene pool.

Prevalence of the breed-related glaucomas in pure-bred dogs in North America. Gelatt KN, MacKay EO. VET OPHTHALMOL 7:97-111, 2004.